Senior Analyst: Biden Defying Undertakings to Impose Updated Version of N. Deal on Iran
TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior political analyst said that the negotiating team of US President Joe Biden is after an updated version of the nuclear deal with Iran, and called on Tehran to start using pressure levels against Washington to make it comply with its undertakings.
“The Biden team is looking for an updated version of the nuclear deal, of course, to increase the advantages for the US. It expects Iran to do even more than it agreed in 2015, but does not want to make concessions even as much as it did in 2015,” Seyed Mostafa Khoshcheshm told the Persian-language Farhikhtegan newspaper on Monday.
He added that the American side, specially since 2018 and withdrawal from the nuclear deal, has fortified sanctions wall by adding up multiple layers to the secondary nuclear sanctions in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action paragraph 25, “which means that even if the nuclear sanctions are practically lifted, it will not affect our economy, but makes our economy hostage to the US formula”.
“In addition, the US wants assurances that Iran will immediately enter into regional and missile talks,” Khoshchesm said.
“Still there is no guarantee that the US will stay in compliance with its undertakings. The guarantee is in our own actions, i.e. the concessions that the US wants to receive from Iran, and this rule is true not only in Iran’s case but also in all international treaties. If the other side gives even 100% verbal and written assurances, keeping the leverages of pressure in our hands is necessary,” he added.
“We have to keep our pressure tools under a well-calculated plan,” Khoshcheshm said, adding, “This time we should display that we have learnt the lesson and never accept to lose these leverages. That is why in the Vienna talks, one of the conditions of the Iranian government is that the American side should first lift all sanctions and then Iran will verify them for a few months and then begin to fulfill its obligations.”
Earlier this month, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that the major policies of the Islamic Republic will not change by change of administrations, and the government of new President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi will continue talks with the world powers in Vienna.
“Negotiations in 6 rounds in Vienna proceeded powerfully and seriously, and it is natural that religious democracy is ruling Iran, and these talks were delayed due to non-implementation (of undertakings) by the US, and elections were held in Iran and it is natural to allow the government to take over and move forward due to the requirements of democracy,” Khatibzadeh told reporters in a press conference in Tehran.
“Of course, the major and principled policies of the Islamic Republic are the ones set by Supreme Leader and the mainstream bodies. The government is the executive body and the foreign ministry implements the decisions. This will continue in the normal way. It is important that the interests of people and the major decisions of the Islamic Republic will be met precisely,” he added.
“The moment that the US returns to its undertakings under Resolution 2231 and the nuclear deal and we verify it, naturally the Islamic Republic of Iran will fully resume implementation of its undertakings. We have to wait for the new government to be established,” Khatibzadeh said.
In response to a question about the prisoner exchange between Iran and the US, he said, "The comments we heard from the US are surprising. In addition to the JCPOA talks in Vienna, we had parallel but separate talks with the US indirectly and with the UK on this humanitarian issue. Releasing Iranians who are unjustly and cruelly imprisoned in the US, some European countries and other countries under false pretexts is Iran's priority. What the US is doing is tying a humanitarian issue to political issues."
"All sides (of the nuclear deal) have gone to make preparations, and the part related to the US undertakings was not done until yesterday. When Iran told the other parties that the seventh round would be held under the new administration, the US tried to tie the humanitarian issues to the JCPOA talks, and this approach is wrong and makes all paths difficult," Khatibzadeh noted.
"If the US fulfills its undertakings today, the release of 10 prisoners can be done with the US and Britain," he added.
Also earlier in July, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi blasted the US and UK for linking a humanitarian exchange of prisoners with the talks over the revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
"The US & UK need to understand this and stop linking a humanitarian exchange—ready to be implemented—with the JCPOA," Araqchi, also head of Iran's negotiating team in Vienna talks, tweeted.
"We're in a transition period as a democratic transfer of power is underway in our capital. Vienna talks must thus obviously await our new administration. This is what every democracy demands," he added.
He underlined that keeping such an exchange hostage to political aims achieves neither, and said, "Ten prisoners on all sides may be released tomorrow if the US & the UK fulfill their part of the deal."
Robert Malley, the US Special Envoy for Iran affairs had tweeted a statement in reaction to Araqchi's remarks.
"These comments are an outrageous effort to deflect blame for the current impasse on a potential mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA. We stand ready to return to Vienna to complete work on a mutual return to the JCPOA once Iran made the necessary decisions," the statement claimed.